Tracy and the Detailed Home Inspections team have partnered with the Western Agriculture Labour Initiative to offer Agricultural Worker Housing Inspections! Temporary foreign workers are an integral, essential workforce in British Columbia’s agriculture industry. Without their help, many farmers and BC-grown goods would not get to market in the high quality state they do. Detailed Inspections is here to help make sure that any lodgings or homes supplied to these skilled labourers follow strict guidelines for worker health and safety.
What is the Western Agriculture Labour Initiative?
WALI for short, the Western Agriculture Labour Initiative provides services to workers, employers and governments to ensure that both farmers and labourers alike are supported and safe. WALI first works with employers to try and find domestic workers to fill their labour needs. If not enough local help is available, WALI works with overseas governments to bring temporary foreign workers into Canada to fill the gap.
One of the most important pieces of employing a group of temporary foreign workers is providing legal, approved housing space. WALI is here to make sure that the conditions in which temporary foreign workers live in are acceptable and safe. To this end, WALI provides the services of trained and certified home inspectors as part of the housing approval process. Tracy has completed WALI’s requirements and is the only inspector in the Thompson Okanagan area that is capable of performing these inspections.
How Are Agricultural Inspections Different Than Residential Ones?
Typically agricultural worker housing inspections follow a lot of the same guidelines as residential ones, though there are a few major differences. Typically a residential property is focused on providing a single family a place to live and grow, including recreational space and other quality of life improvements. Shelter for temporary foreign workers often needs much more space for the basics (beds/food/water/bath) and is built to house many, many people.
Instead of just making sure a building is structurally sound or free of issues, these inspections widen the focus to make sure each worker is treated as an individual that requires care and shelter. Does the building have enough electrical outlets/circuits to support the amount of workers requested? Are there enough basic furnishings for all of the expected workers to comfortably use? A couple sets of chairs and tables is not enough for 30 incoming workers. Employers have strict standards to meet when it comes to providing the quality AND quantity of lodgings and furnishings for any temporary foreign workers they might employ.
If you need to help with the harvest or management of your agricultural business, you should be talking to WALI and Tracy’s team at Detailed Inspections. We’ll make sure all of the required red tape is in place to bring in as much human power that you need.